During the Winter General Meeting of the Irish Catholic Bishops Conference in Maynooth, Bishops commend Irish negotiating team at COP27. They stated, “Pope Francis, in his 2015 encyclical letter on the environment Laudato Si’ (Praised Be), reminds us of our calling to care for our Common Home which is now more urgent as we watch with trepidation the increasingly ominous signals of climate breakdown. The latest attempts to address our climate crisis were discussed at the Conference of the Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (COP27), in November, in Sharm El Sheikh, Egypt.
“COP27 addressed the fact that the extreme events inflicted on the most climatically vulnerable countries are increasingly attributable to the emissions from the developed world. The success of the developing countries in obtaining agreement for the establishment of a ‘Loss and Damage’ facility is to be welcomed. This positive development is in accord with a Laudato Si’ central theme of the interconnectedness of social justice, inter-generational justice and climate justice. The failure of the developed world to accept financial responsibility for this has been for long an obstacle to progress.
“The successful efforts of the Irish negotiating team in getting the beginnings of a Loss & Damage facility established is therefore to be commended. Many issues remain to be teased out: who will contribute to such a fund; which vulnerable countries will qualify to benefit; how will individual events be classified as climate-change-induced; how will slow onset events, such as droughts, be considered alongside short-term catastrophes such as floods? These will require careful scientific and ethical consideration and will clearly be subject to further negotiations in future COPs.
“Irish people have always shown great compassion for the victims of famine, flood, and conflict in other countries. With the increase in media broadcasting and reporting about the effects of extreme weather and climate change, now is the time for greater solidarity. The UN resolution of 1970 – calling on countries to allocate 0.7% of their national income to official development assistance – remains am unachieved challenge for both jurisdictions on the island of Ireland.”
Arrange a screening of The Letter – inspired by Laudato Si’
Bishops stated, “COP27 heard heart-wrenching stories of people flooded out of their island homes by rising sea levels; of children starving in the Horn of Africa where the rains have failed for the fourth consecutive year; and, of more than 1,000 excess deaths last summer from heatwaves and fires amongst our own European neighbours. This harsh reality is stunningly reflected in the recently released human-interest film, The Letter, inspired by Laudato Si’. It tells the story of four people, who, in conversation with Pope Francis, reveal their roles in caring more deeply for our Common Home. It is an invitation to each one of us to take up the challenge of addressing the ecological crisis in our own local communities. Therefore, we invite our parishes, educational institutions, retreat centres, community centres and households to arrange a screening of The Letter. It provides the opportunity for a conversation starter – beginning where you are – about how we can all use our gifts and talents to contribute to solutions that are needed urgently in order to protect our Common Home.” To arrange for a parish screening of The Letter please contact [email protected] This film is also available on YouTube https://theletterfilm.org